Wang Jianlin

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Wang Jianlin
王健林
Wang Jianlin - Annual Meeting of the New Champions Dalian 2009.jpg
Wang Jianlin at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions of World Economic Forum in Dalian, 2009
Born (1954-10-24) 24 October 1954 (age 66)
NationalityChinese
EducationLiaoning University
OccupationBusinessman
OrganizationFounder and chairman, Dalian Wanda Group
Known forWealthiest person in China (2015–2017)[1]
Net worthUS$14.8 billion (As of 7 March 2021)[2]
Political partyCommunist Party of China
Spouse(s)Lin Ning
ChildrenWang Sicong (son)

Wang Jianlin (Chinese: 王健林; pinyin: Wáng Jiànlín; born 24 October 1954) is a Chinese billionaire business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the founder of Dalian Wanda Group, China's largest real estate development company, and the world's largest movie theater operator.[2] He owns 15% of the Spanish football club Atlético Madrid.[3] In 2016, Wang reached a deal with FIFA to launch the China Cup, in which national football teams compete in Nanning, Guangxi each year.[4]

Wang has been the economic consultant for Yunnan province, as well as a construction consultant of the Guiyang government, and was named honourable citizen of Changchun, and "outstanding contributor" to the construction of Dalian.[5]

As of November 2020, Wang is estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of US$14.4 billion, making him one of the richest men in China.[2][6]

Early life and career[edit]

Landscape near Jinchuan County
One of the Wanda Plaza in Beijing

Wang Jianlin was born on 24 October 1954, in Cangxi County, Guangyuan, Sichuan,[7][note 1] as the oldest of five boys.[8] His father Wang Yiquan was a peasant who fought for Mao Zedong's People's Liberation Army during the Long March (October 1934–October 1935).[8][9] Retired from the army just before the Korean War, his father, working for the forestry service, and mother Qin Jialin settled in a village in Jinchuan County, Sichuan, where their son would grow up.[8][10] His given name at birth was originally 建林 which can be translated as 'forest builder'.[11]

  1. ^ He was born in the Second People's Hospital of Mianyang Special District, in what is today known as Cangxi

Wang became a soldier at age 15, lying about his age, and made his way up in the army ranks quickly, becoming a commander at age 27.[8][12] During his time in the army, he served in Chengdu, before being sent to the Shenyang Military Region in 1970.[7] After 17 years in the army, in 1986 Wang started working as the office administrator for the Xigang District in the city of Dalian.[13][14][15] In 1988, using a $80,000 loan,[16] he took over the small property developer Xigang Residential Development. In 1992, as the company went public as one of the first in a pilot program,[8] he was promoted to general manager and changed the name to Dalian Wanda.[14]

His company owns 21.57 million square metres of investment property, 168 Wanda Shopping Plazas, 82 luxury hotels, 213 cinemas, 99 department stores, and 54 karaoke centres around China. The company became the world's largest theatre owner in 2012 when it acquired AMC Theatres. He bought out U.S.-based AMC Entertainment for US$2.6 billion. He listed it on the New York Stock Exchange in December. He flew in celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Beckinsale, and John Travolta to help launch a US$8 billion mini-Hollywood in the coastal city of Qingdao in January 2014.

Wanda Group acquired the landmark Edificio España building in Madrid, Spain, in March 2014 from Grupo Santander for "about a third less than the €389 million that Banco Santander paid in 2005, at the height of Spain's construction boom".[17] Previously, Dalian Wanda had taken on billion-dollar hotel development projects in London and New York, as well as property projects in India.

In 2014, he acquired land at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California to build the American headquarters named "One Beverly Hills" of his entertainment company.[18]

In January 2015 it was reported that he was buying a 20% stake in the Spanish football club Atlético Madrid for €45m.[19] He sold his stake to Quantum Pacific Group for an undisclosed fee in 2018.[20][21]

In 2016, Wang launched a direct competition with Disney by declaring that he wants to make sure Shanghai Disneyland Park doesn't make any money in China by launching over a dozen competing amusement parks.[22] In November 2016 Wang's Dalian Wanda Group announced plans to acquire Dick Clark Productions for about US$1 billion, giving it the broadcasting rights to the Golden Globe Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the New Year countdown celebrations in New York.[23] Wanda already owns Legendary Entertainment, co-producer of films such as Jurassic World, and U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings.[24]

The Economist called him "a man of Napoleonic ambition", citing his military background in the PLA, where he rose from border guard to regimental commander. He enforces "iron discipline" in the workplace, where employees are fined when they violate the company's conservative dress code. Despite his age, he has a "trim figure".[25]

Politics and charity[edit]

At the age of 15, Wang started his 17-year service with the People's Liberation Army, initially as a border guard before rising to become a regimental commander.[9][15] In 1976, he joined the Communist Party of China. He served as deputy to the 17th National Congress.[26]

Wang is a delegate to the Chinese National People's Congress.[27] He was twice named CCTV's "Economic Person of the Year".[25] He serves as the vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and has been a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference since 2008.[28]

He currently serves as vice chair of the China Charity Confederation; vice chair of the China Folk Chamber of Commerce; vice chair of the China Enterprise Confederation and the China Enterprise Directors Association; vice chair of the China General Chamber of Commerce; vice-chair of the Global Advisory Council of Harvard University.[29]

In 2011, he donated US$197 million to charitable causes,[30] such as underwriting the restoration of an ancient temple in Nanjing.[30] In 2014-2015 he donated US$200,000 for the restoration of the Electric Fountain in Beverly Hills, California.[31] In 2017 he donated CNY 20 million to help 2017 Sichuan landslide victims, it was speculated that he empathized especially with the region having grown up in Ngawa Prefecture himself.[32]

Mr. Wang maintains a close relationship with the Chinese Communist Party. The New York Times reported in 2015 that relatives of high-ranking Party officials amassed a stake in the company prior to the IPO of Dalian Wanda which appreciated to over $1.1 billion when the company was listed. These relatives include Qi Qiaoqiao, the sister of Xi Jinping, as well as the daughter of Wen Jiabao.[33]

However, Mr. Wang's personal motto is “stay close to the government and distant from politics.”[34] He believes entrepreneurs should be "close" to the government and "clear" from the government as well. "If the government never talk to entrepreneurs, they'll never know what entrepreneurs want to invest, develop or solve."[35]

In 2010 Wang donated a billion yuan (US$156 million) to the city of Nanjing for reconstruction of the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing . This is reported to be the largest single personal donation ever made in China.[36]

Wealth[edit]

Wang Jianlin has been ranked prominently in worldwide billionaire lists for years.

The previous year, Forbes ranked him the 128th richest person in the world, with US$8.6 billion.[2] In August 2013, he was listed as the wealthiest person in China with a net worth of US$14.2 billion by Bloomberg.[37] In September 2013, his net worth rose to US$22 billion, according to numbers of the Hurun Report.[38]

According to the Hurun Report, in 2014 he was the 25th richest person in the world with US$25 billion.[39][40]

In 2015, Bloomberg listed him as the richest person in Asia with US$9.9 billion.[41]

According to Forbes, in 2016 he was the richest person in Asia with US$28.7 billion.[42]

A year later, Forbes ranked him 18th in its 2017 World's Billionaires list, making him the richest man in China with a net worth of US$31.3 billion.[43] However, on May 14, Jack Ma overtook Wang Jianlin as the richest man in China, thanks to Ma's Alibaba Group's increases in stock prices.[44]

In 2020, Wang tumbled down the rich list as his real estate empire and movie theatre chains both sharply declined in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Forbes ranked him outside the top 10 in its 2020 list of Richest Chinese Billionaires with an estimated net worth of $14 billion.[45]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Lin Ning (Chinese: 林宁; pinyin: Lín Níng), and has a son, Wang Sicong (Chinese: 王思聪; pinyin: Wáng Sīcōng; born 1988), educated at Winchester College and University College London in the UK.[46] Wang Sicong is currently a board member of the Wanda Group and a venture capitalist in China through his Beijing-based private equity fund, Prometheus Capital (普思投资).[47]

Wang is a follower of Buddhism,[48] although he considers himself not religious.[8] Owing to his years of military service, he lives with military discipline. He is also noted for singing Tibetan and Mongolian folk songs.[12][8] His hobbies are collecting art and singing karaoke.[8]

In December 2015 Wang Jianlin bought 15a Kensington Palace Gardens, London, for GB£80 million. The house was previously lived in by the Ukrainian billionaire, Leonard Blavatnik, who rented it during lengthy works on the house he owns opposite.[46]

In July 2016, Wang released his book, The Wanda Way: The managerial philosophy and values of one of China's largest companies. The book was published globally by LID Publishing.[49] The book includes his renowned 2013 China Central Television Voice interview, his speech and question-and-answer session to the Harvard Business School, and Wang's business philosophy on Wanda's real estate, resort, and movie units.

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Wanda Way: The managerial philosophy and values of one of China's largest companies (2016) ISBN 978-1910649428

References[edit]

  1. ^ "China's Richest Man Plans To Move Headquarters To Shanghai From Beijing". Forbes. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Forbes profile: Wang Jianlin". Forbes. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Atletico Madrid: China's Wang Jianlin buys 20% stake - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  4. ^ "China to host new international tournament to boost national side". ESPNFC.com. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  5. ^ Vitae, China. "China Vitae : Biography of Wang Jianlin". chinavitae.com. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  6. ^ Loudenback, Emmie Martin, Melissa Stanger, Tanza. "The 10 richest people in Asia". Business Insider. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b "首富王健林力驳外界质疑:我有的是钱王健林老是谁温宁个人资料照片家庭背景". 26 October 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "What's driving one of China's richest men?". Fortune. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 October 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  9. ^ a b Wei, Michael (August 2013). "Property Mogul Emerges as China's Richest Person". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  10. ^ "王健林果断向灾区捐赠2000万,原来他的青春期是在阿坝州度过_中国经济网". m.ce.cn. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  11. ^ "内地首富王健林的政商丛林:亲近政府远离政治". 6 December 2013.
  12. ^ a b "The Cult of Courage of Wang Jianlin — BRICS Business Magazine". www.bricsmagazine.com. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Biography of Wang Jianlin", World Economic Forum
  14. ^ a b L, Roy; o (26 October 2020). "The Success Story of Wang Jianlin and his Dalian Wanda Group". PeoPlaid. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  15. ^ a b "It's a Wanda-Ful Life; Dalian Wanda". The Economist. 14 February 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
  16. ^ "Wang Jianlin | Chinese businessman". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  17. ^ Minder, Raphael (23 September 2014). "Sale of a Landmark Skyscraper Puts Spain on the Map of Chinese Investors". New York Times.
  18. ^ Clifford Coonan, China's Wanda to Spend $1.2 Billion on Beverly Hills Entertainment HQ, The Hollywood Reporter, 8/8/2014
  19. ^ "Atletico Madrid: China's Wang Jianlin buys 20% stake". BBC. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  20. ^ Pham, Sherisse (15 February 2018). "Chinese billionaire sells stake in top soccer club Atletico Madrid". CNNMoney. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  21. ^ "Dalian Wanda dribbles its way to cut debt, sells Atletico Madrid stake". South China Morning Post. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  22. ^ Huang, Echo. "China's richest man, Wanda Group CEO Wang Jianlin, has declared war on Disneyland".
  23. ^ "Dick Clark Productions to Be Sold to Chinese Company for $1 Billion". The New York Times. 4 November 2016.
  24. ^ "Deal to Buy Hollywood's Dick Clark Productions Falls Through". Fortune. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  25. ^ a b "It's a Wanda-ful life". The Economist. 14 February 2015.
  26. ^ "2010 Forbes ranking", Forbes
  27. ^ Freeland, Chrystia (2013). Plutocrats: The rise of the new global super-rich. London: Penguin Books. p. 204. ISBN 9780141043425.
  28. ^ Wanda Sowa, Wanda Sowa (23 April 2014). "Do humans and noise pollution impact the way birds sing?". doi:10.18258/2449. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  29. ^ "Chairman Wang Jianlin - Wanda Group". wanda-group.com. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  30. ^ a b Russell Flannery, Real Estate Developer Wang Jianlin Tops New Forbes China Philanthropy List, Forbes, April 25, 2011
  31. ^ City to Honor Wanda Group For Generous Fountain Restoration Gift, The Beverly Hills Courier, March 23, 2015
  32. ^ "王健林果断向灾区捐赠2000万,原来他的青春期是在阿坝州度过_中国经济网". m.ce.cn. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  33. ^ Forsythe, Michael (28 April 2015). "Wang Jianlin, a Billionaire at the Intersection of Business and Power in China". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  34. ^ Forsythe, Michael (28 April 2015). "Wang Jianlin, a Billionaire at the Intersection of Business and Power in China". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  35. ^ "王健林谈中央出台弘扬企业家精神文件:高兴 安心". finance.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  36. ^ "Wanda chairman makes largest donation in China's history". People's Daily. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  37. ^ Michael Wei, "Property Mogul Wang Emerges as China's Richest Person", Bloomberg, August 19, 2013
  38. ^ "China Rich List 2013" Archived 2014-08-31 at the Wayback Machine, Hurun Report, August 5, 2014
  39. ^ Profile of Wang Jianlin, Hurun Report, August 5, 2014
  40. ^ Jie Chen, Bruce J. Dickson, Allies of the State: China's Private Entrepreneurs and Democratic Change, Boston, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010, p. 55
  41. ^ [1], Wanda group, December 31, 2015
  42. ^ [2], China Money Network
  43. ^ "Wang Jianlin". Forbes. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  44. ^ Flannery, Russell. "Alibaba's Jack Ma Overtakes Wang Jianlin As China's Richest Man". Forbes. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  45. ^ Wang, Jennifer. "The 10 Richest Chinese Billionaires In 2020". Forbes. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  46. ^ a b Prynn, Jonathan (19 December 2015). "Chinese billionaire buys £80m London home and he'll spend £50m more doing it up". Evening Standard. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  47. ^ Gao, Jing (6 October 2015). "Wang Jianlin's son, "The People's Husband," is also an aspiring VC". All China Tech. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  48. ^ https://www.lotus-happiness.com/10-buddhist-billionaires-asia/
  49. ^ ISBN 9781910649428, LID Publishing, copyright 2016